ESSIC / Geology Assistant Professor, Sujay Kaushal, is the lead author of newly published study on long-term river alkalization trends in the Eastern U.S. The paper entitled, “Increased river alkalization in the Eastern U.S.,” was published in Environmental Science and Technology, August 26, 2013.
Kaushal’s research team determined in the first survey of its kind, that human activities have altered the basic chemistry of many rivers in the Eastern U.S. The study analysed long-term watershed records of alkalinity from 97 Eastern U.S. rivers. Two-thirds of rivers had become significantly more alkaline over time spans ranging from 25 – 60 years.
Among the rivers impacted are those that provide water for Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore, Atlanta, and other major cities, the researchers reported. Also affected are rivers that flow into water bodies already harmed by excess algae growth, such as the Chesapeake Bay.
A University of Maryland press release announcing Kaushal’s study can be viewed here.